Master Volume

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Stelios, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi

    I just got my SONY STR-DB790 Receiver and the display for the Master Volume in db is indicated by a negative sign in front of the db and when I increase the volume the actual no. display in db goes down, says from -97db t0 -85db and yet the actual volume from the speakers goes up. Is this the normal? Should it be like this? I thought the louder the more db should be displayed. Can someone explain please?

    Stelios
     
  2. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Hi, Stelios, welcome to the forum.

    Looking at your numbers, the more db ARE displayed. -85 is a larger number than -97; you're getting closer to 0 (zero). So, your actual numbers aren't going DOWN but UP.
     
  3. Stelios

    Stelios Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok but can you change this for 0 to be the lilence point and as you go up in volume the dbs to also go +up.

    Stelios
     
  4. Robert Fellows

    Robert Fellows Stunt Coordinator

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    No
     
  5. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    No you cant.. I remember reading something about how digital audio's volumes are measured using -dB's...
     
  6. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    They may be measured this way as a method of setting volume to a known reference (normally 0.0dB volume level). But some receivers may have the ability to change the scale to something else, like 0 to 100. The Onkyo Integra DTR-7 I owned several years ago had the option to do just that.

    Michael
     
  7. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I'd rather see the display show percentage of rated output. Showing the supposed "db" output compared to reference is pretty much ridiculous and entirely arbitrary, as the speakers and room conditions will have a great deal to say about what volume setting is required to hit reference.
     
  8. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    The problem is a particular percentage of rated output is going to produce volume levels depending on what the speakers you are using. 10% with one set of speakers may be twice as loud than with another set of speakers.

    Also, if you use an external amp with a receiver, how is the receiver suppose to know the external amp's rated output? And if such an external amp was used for the L/R mains while the receiver powered the remaining speakers, what would be displayed?

    If you read the owner's manuals, most receivers and prepros these days are calibrated so that they reach reference level output when the volume control is at 0.0dB, regardless of whether you are using the receiver's amps and/or external amps. The standard used is 105dB at reference level for each speaker individually.

    Michael
     
  9. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, the reason I would like to see % of rated output is so I can see how hard I'm pushing it at a given SPL. As far as that being not useful to those folks using a receiver as a pre/pro, I don't see how the current practice of db's minus/plus from reference is any more helpful to them - for how is the receiver acting as pre/pro supposed to know how many wpc the outboard amps are pushing? But for those folks, the traditional 0-100% display we used to see years ago would do just fine IMHO.
     
  10. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Chuck,

    The volume scales we used years ago, like 0-10 on a dial, worked just fine because we were dealing with two speakers in stereo. With multiple speaker setups, many of these setups are going to have speakers with different efficiencies, sometimes large main speakers with smaller center and surround speakers.

    Because of the playback material, you may be pushing say 5 watts for the mains, but possibly 8 watts for the center speakers and less, say 1-2 watts, for the surround speakers. What would be displayed on the volume control, percentages for each speaker?.

    Calibrating all speakers to produce the same output level regardless of where the volume control is set at makes far more sense and it is why it has been adopted that way.

    Michael
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Look:

    There is no inherent "reference" level in music.

    For movies, though, there is, at 0. Then you detract from that. The point that every setup will be different volume at zero is irrelevant. A properly calibrated HT will be EXACTLY at reference at 0, at the exact SPL output.



    This is absurd as well. No receivers can even remotely be "calibrated" to reference at the factory. All speakers will have different sensitivities, and the room also plays a HUGE part. YOU have to calibrate YOUR system to reference.
     
  12. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael, I can see your point, and I guess in my scenario I'd probably give a % of gain for the mains as they tend to be the hardest continually driven channels. But, your point is well taken - there really isn't any perfect way to display volume/gain levels.
     

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